3 Member Benefit Trends for 2020

Association TrendsMembership expert, Frank Kenny, explains three of the hottest member benefits trends out there.

If you want 2020 to be the year you adjust member benefits, we have some ideas for you.  While individual membership benefits depend largely on your type of association, you can use these membership trends for some brainstorming.

Members expect a lot these days.

Simply offering networking events is not enough. Members are able to do things on their own that they couldn’t decades ago like bypassing gatekeepers in order to get to know people on the other side of the country or world.

What you’re offering must change too.

Here are three of the hottest member trends out there:


This trend has been hot for several years. Now it is an expectation. People don’t want a cookie-cutter experience in an organization they pay dues for.

Members understand the possibilities behind data, and they expect you to use it.

Look at how personalization is shaping the cable business. Many people are opting out of cable because they don’t want to pay for things they don’t use. 78 channels and only three are watched.

Watch the on-demand webinar presented by
Frank Kenny, “What’s New in Membership Tech.”

Many are choosing to go to more personalized offerings like streaming services such as Netflix. One of the things that makes these types of services popular is the low monthly payment and the service’s ability to make suggestions based on past viewing. Subscribers to these services, and others like them, expect personalized suggestions.

Member organizations in 2020 need to focus on giving members what they want (e.g., tiered dues) or at least the ability to tailor to what they want. One-size-fits-all memberships are no longer working, nor are they appealing.

Deeper and Organized Content

Content has been king for several years now. It’s likely your members expect content from your organization.

However, change is occurring.

Consumers of content look for articles that provide everything they need to know on a subject. While many people don’t read in-depth articles, they do want all of the information on the topic in one area.

They don’t want to search and skim multiple articles in multiple places. That’s too much work. And who has the time?


Consumers are into experiences. In fact, Millennials prefer to pay for experiences vs. paying for things.

Download a copy of the association-specific version of
The Perks of Association Membership for Young Professionals.
It’s the ideal marketing piece to engage prospective members.

In 2020, you need to consider the member experience. That experience begins when someone is a prospect, continues in the onboarding, and culminates in life as a member.

The type of experience you offer your members will be based on what they find valuable and the type of industry you’re in. However, one thing is certain you want to offer experiences they would find difficult to obtain themselves.

The most successful experiences needn’t be an expensive line item on the budget.

It could be introductions the member is unable to make themselves. Or offering an easy way to navigate continuing education they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. The experience could be providing classes or learning opportunities that would be out of their budget without membership.

Here’s to an amazing 2020.

Frank J. Kenny is an internationally recognized author, professional speaker, and consultant. He is on the faculty of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management (IOM). He has taught social media, digital marketing, and technology strategies to business audiences from around the world.

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